2015-03-11 / Editorials

Sunnyside Yards Development Needs Local Input

BY ASSEMBLYMEMBER MICHAEL MILLER

Rumors of congestion pricing have been circling since the early days of Mayor Bloomberg’s administration and I want to take a moment to discuss reasons for my opposition to the congestion pricing plan. The proposal would implement tolls on all of the city’s free bridges to fill a $15 billion deficit in the MTA’s capital budget. Under the plan, seven bridges will get lower tolls and the city’s free bridges would pay $5.54 each way with E-ZPass. However, as New Yorkers, we are entirely too intelligent to believe that tolls would be added to the East River crossings and not be subjected to the constant increases that the other bridges currently face. It seems that every time we cross these bridges or tunnels that have existing tolls, the tolls have increased 50 cents here or a dollar there. Hardworking New Yorkers already pay enough in taxes, and the ever-growing fares for the subways and buses make it difficult for the average citizen to even travel to and from work.

Practically speaking, the congestion pricing would add just another tax on the already over-burdened small businesses throughout New York City that rely on these crossings for deliveries. Let me make the most obvious argument I can: If a delivery company that delivers to our local small business now faces additional tolls whenever a delivery is to be made, then the cost of deliveries will be increased for the small business owner, which will cause store prices to increase. Even New Yorkers who do not drive over these bridges will feel the impact of this proposal if implemented.

I stand firm with my constituents and many other New Yorkers that this congestion pricing proposal is a mistake for New York City and should not be implemented. As always, if you have any questions about these laws or any other community issue, please don’t hesitate to contact me at millermg@assembly.state.ny.us or 718-805-0950.

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